Two French soldiers were killed when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device in northeastern Mali on Saturday, just days after three others died in similar fashion.
President Emmanuel Macron “learnt with great sadness” of the deaths of Sergeant Yvonne Huynh and Brigadier Loic Risser in the Menaka region, his office said in a statement.
Huynh, aged 33 and mother of a young child, was the first female soldier killed in the Sahel region since the French operation began.
Risser was 24. Both were members of a regiment specialising in intelligence work.
“Their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device during an intelligence mission,” the French presidency said of Saturday’s incident.
Another soldier was wounded in the blast but their life is not in danger, it added.